ILOILO City – The disaster victim’s organization Kusog sang Pumuluyo lambasted today the inutile response of the inter-agency cluster in relief operations led by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in assisting the victims of typhoon Ursula.
In a picket held at Camp Delgado where the OCD is located, the group claimed that the inter-agency cluster created supposedly for immediate rescue, rehabilitation and relief distribution has done nothing for the victims.
“Instead, the cluster has only restricted people’s organizations participation in relief efforts, DSWD’s role was constricted and the aid the victims received are very minimal,” said Rev. Fr. Marco Sulayao, the group’s spokesperson.
Last week, Kusog sang Pumuluyo held a picket at the DSWD Regional Office VI to air their disgust and grievances and submit their petitions, but the regional office claimed that their hands are tied because of the inter-agency cluster.
“This goes to show that instead of learning from past experiences like typhoon Yolanda, this government has chosen a more sophisticated approach, added another layer of bureaucratic red tape, but in the end, has only brought more sufferings to the victims of disasters,” added Fr. Sulayao.
Fr. Sulayao stressed that “instead of letting the agencies do their job directly to assist immediately, the OCD has controlled everything and everyone that made the delivery of services more difficult.”
The inter-agency cluster was created under the Executive Order No. 70, an order primarily addressing the counter-insurgency problem.
“It is therefore clear that the main task of this cluster is not delivery of service, but more on constricting the aid that must be received by the people, especially those that organized themselves and are considered enemies of the state,” said Fr. Sulayao.
The disaster group called on the government to dismantle the inter-agency cluster and let the agencies directly involved to use and deliver their resources for all victims without discrimination and to do away with political patronage./www.panaytoday.net